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Erik Öckinger

Erik Öckinger
Associate professor and senior lecturer. Interested in biodiversity, community ecology, spatial ecology and conservation biology.


I am interested in the processes that maintain biodiversity at multiple spatial scales. I study the consequences of land use and climate change on populations and communities, and strategies to preserve, restore and monitor biodiversity in human-dominated landscapes. My research spans from basic to applied aspects of ecology.

In much of my research I use insects, particularly butterflies and pollinating insects, as study organisms. I also do research on plant communities and plant-pollinator interactions, and conduct research syntheses including a wide range of organisms.

Research team

Dr. Malin Tälle - postdoc

Dr. Andy Ruck - postdoc

Juliana Dániel Ferreira - PhD candidate

Svenja Horstmann - PhD candidate


Dr. Jonas Josefsson - postdoc 2018-2021, now environmental consultant

Dr. Norbertas Noreika - postdoc 2018-2019, now at Estonian University of Life Sciences.

Dr. Giovanni Tamburini - postdoc 2017-2019, now researcher at University of Bari, Italy.

Dr. Yoan Fourcade - postdoc 2015-2019, now assistant professor at Paris-Est Créteil Val-de-Marne University, France.

Dr. Roser Rotchés‐Ribalta - visiting postdoc 2017.

Dr. Marie Winsa - PhD student 2010-2016.

Opportunities for students and researchers

BSc and MSc students: I am happy to supervise BSc and MSc thesis projects related to my research interests. Please contact me to discuss potential topics.

PhD candidates: These positions are typically fully funded from the university, and are posted at the SLU website

Postdocs: I am open to host new postdoctoral researchers who share my research interests and wish to apply for their own funding. Please contact me if you are interested in working on an application together.


I am leading the course Tillämpad Naturvårdsbiologi (Applied Conservation biology), which is part of the BSc programme in Biology and Environmental Sciences.

I also teach on other courses in e.g. Conservation Biology (BSc level), Forest Conservation Biology (MSc level), Insect Diversity and Conservation and Field Botany. 


My current research interests include:

Conservation and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes

I study how local management, landscape composition as well as landscape history influence biodiversity and related ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes, and in particular in species-rich semi-natural grasslands.

How novel habitats contribute to landscape-scale biodiversity

Land claimed for infrastructure, such as road verges and power line corridors constitute novel habitats that cover vast areas. Since these habitats often resemble species-rich habitats such as semi-natural grasslands, they might provide great opportunities for biodiversity conservation. I study how such habitats contribute to the biodiversity at the landscape scale and how they affect populations of pollinating insects.

Interactive effects of climate and land use change on biodiversity

Climate change is already changing biodiversity and species distributions directly. But there are also indirect effects through altered agricultural and forest land use in response to climate change. Landscape composition and land use might influence the ability of species and communities to adapt to climate change. I use field experiments, repeated historical surveys and data from systematic biodiversity monitoring programmes to study how land use and climate change impact populations, communities and species distributions.


Much of my research is directly relevant for authorities responsible for biodiversity conservation and for land owners and land managers.

I also conduct research in direct collaboration with stakeholders. For example, I do field experiments on biodiversity-friendly habitat management in collaboration with Svenska Kraftnät (responsible for the Swedish electricity grid) and Swedish Transport Administration.

Selected publications

For a complete list of publications, see my Google Scholar profile

Some representative publications:

Josefsson, J., Widenfalk, L.A., Blicharska, M., Hedblom, M., Pärt, T., Ranius, T., Öckinger, E. 2021. Compensating for lost nature values through biodiversity offsetting – where is the evidence? Biological Conservation 257: 109117.

Fourcade, Y., WallisDeVries, M.F., Kuussaari, M., van Swaay, C.A.M., Heliölä, J., Öckinger, E. 2021. Habitat amount and distribution modify community dynamics under climate change. Ecology Letters 24: 950–957. 

Gardiner, M.G., Riley, C.B., Bommarco, R., Öckinger E. 2018. Rights-of-way – a poorly exploited conservation resource with potential. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 16: 149-158.

Öckinger, E., Winsa, M., Roberts, S.P.M., Bommarco, R. 2018. Mobility and resource use influence the occurrence of pollinating insects in restored semi-natural grassland fragments. Restoration Ecology 26: 873-881.

Fourcade, Y., Ranius, T., Öckinger, E. 2017. Temperature drives abundance fluctuations, but spatial dynamics is constrained by landscape configuration: implications for climate-driven range shift in a butterfly. Journal of Animal Ecology 86: 1339–1351.

Öckinger, E., Schweiger, O., Crist, T.O. Debinski, D.M., Krauss, J., Kuussaari, M., Petersen, J.D., Pöyry, J., Settele, J., Summerville, K.S. & Bommarco, R. 2010. Life-history traits predict species responses to habitat area and isolation – A cross-continental synthesis. Ecology Letters 13: 969-979.


Senior Lecturer at the Department of Ecology; S, Conservation Biology Unit
Telephone: +4618672303
Postal address:
Inst för Ekologi, Box 7044
750 07 UPPSALA
Visiting address: Ulls Väg 16, Uppsala